February 16th, 2013
01:03 PM ET

Weekend reading

By Fareed Zakaria

The self-styled “prince” of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb came “close to throwing away a glittering prize” in Mali, argues David Blair in The Telegraph.

“Perhaps Wadoud will now embroil the French in endless guerrilla warfare, resorting to suicide attacks and roadside bombs. But until last month, his only enemy in his new kingdom was Mali’s ragtag army, with fewer than 8,000 under-trained and poorly equipped soldiers. Now, at a minimum, AQIM has made itself the target of a French expeditionary force backed by advanced airpower.”

There could be unintended consequences if the U.S. becomes energy independent, including an increased risk of instability in the Middle East, suggests Meghan O’Sullivan.

“Unanticipated boosts in U.S. oil production, in combination with increasing supplies from other sources such as Iraq, could also contribute to the woes of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. As with Russia, most OPEC members need prices to stay above $85 a barrel to make their budgets – many now swollen with post-Arab Spring spending and wage inducements – meet.”

Raising the minimum wage isn’t just good politics, it’s good economics, writes David Gross in the Daily Beast.

“Lower-income workers tend to spend almost everything they make, so more wages would very quickly translate into higher spending at a lot of businesses. That’s one of the reasons Wal-Mart supported an increase in the minimum wage in 2009.”

And, is coercive paternalism justified? And should this mean that smoking should be banned? Cass Sunstein looks at the arguments posed by Sarah Conly in Against Autonomy.

“Conly’s most controversial claim is that because the health risks of smoking are so serious, the government should ban it. She is aware that many people like to smoke, that a ban could create black markets, and that both of these points count against a ban. But she concludes that education, warnings, and other nudges are insufficiently effective, and that a flat prohibition is likely to be justified by careful consideration of both benefits and costs, including the costs to the public of treating lung cancer and other consequences of smoking.”

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. please transelate and pass to the FBI, CIA AND those who care

    وردنا خبرا مؤكدا مفاده ما يلي :
    المجرم واثق البطاط يتواجد حاليا في مدينة الشعله – في بيت يقع في نهاية شارع (60) بداية منطقة الدوانم مع مجموعه من المجرمين من المليشيات التابعه لفيلق القدس الايراني وينطلق من مدينة الشعله لتنفيذ عمليات الاغتيال في مناطق الغزاليه والسيديه والعامريه وبدعم لوجستي من مكتب القائد العام للقوات المسلحه

    تعليقنا //
    اين مذكرة القاء القبض بحق هذا الارهابي يا مالكي وهو لايبعد عن مقرك في المنطقه الخضراء اكثر من 15 كيلومتر ومليشياتك وجيشك الاجرامي يحاصر احياء الاعظميه والعامريه والسيديه لكي يتحرك هذا المجرم وعصابات فيلق القدس لقتل الابرياء وتصفية المطالبين بحقوقهم المشروعه ,,,,,,

    February 18, 2013 at 12:13 am | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Unfortunately there are oil-exporters that want the market jitter, as higher prices will bring them more revenues to finance their handouts. We will see whether the two antagonists in the Middle East – Iran and Saudi Arabia would make headlines in the coming weeks or months.

    February 18, 2013 at 6:38 am | Reply
  3. nenita

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    June 2, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply

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